The Word of His Grace

Alean and I worship and serve with a smaller fellowship of about 100 to 125 and we know we are tremendously blessed to be a part of this unique and loving church family. It took us years to find this family, and we won’t give it up easily if the time ever comes that we are asked to do so.

One of the unique blessings of this church family is that we have many gifted and skilled teachers, and the pastors and elders wisely and generously allow these teachers to exercise their gifting often. We are studying through Luke’s gospel account, and last Sunday I preached from Luke 8:19-21 where Jesus said family is comprised of those who hear the word of God and DO it.

As I pondered this statement from Jesus, it led me to consider all the ways the “word” is spoken of in the Biblical text, both written and spoken. If the family of Jesus is those who “hear the word and do it,” what is this word they are hearing and doing?

As I thought through this, I realized there are many such characterizations of the word. We cannot cover them all here, but I thought it would be fun to explore just a handful of them, and you can continue the exercise on your own if you wish. I’m going to constrain myself to just the New Testament.

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.
– 1 John 1:1, NIV-1978

In context, this is speaking of Jesus. He is eternal, they listened to him, saw him, touched him, and now John called Jesus “the Word of life.” Couple that with the gospel of John and we see that in Jesus was life and that life was the light of man.1 The apostle Paul spoke also of the word of life, saying it is something we cling to or that we hold forth. (It can be translated both ways, and really, both are accurate.)

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.
– Philippians 2:14-16a, NIV-1978

Jesus described the word as seed that was sown in various places. When explaining his parable, he called it “the word of the kingdom.”

When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.
– Matthew 13:19a, ESV

The apostle Paul, referring to the promised birth of Isaac called God’s promise to Abraham, “the word of promise.”2 In the next chapter, Paul speaks of the word of faith that is preached.

But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming:
– Romans 10:8, NIV-1978

Paul then goes on to explain that we confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts resulting in salvation and justification … the word of faith!

Paul also says the word of truth is was nothing less than the gospel of our salvation. (Ephesians 1:13).

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.
– Ephesians 1:13a, NIV-1978

The word is also relational, designed to keep us in fellowship. When disputes arise, it is the word of reconciliation between us and others, but especially between us and God.

Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their wrongdoings against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
– 2 Corinthians 5:18-19, NASB

In Hebrews we read of the word of encouragement or exhortation.

Brothers, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written you only a short letter.
– Hebrews 13:22, NIV-1978

There is an interesting one in John’s Revelation from Jesus where Jesus speaks of the word of his perseverance, or endurance.

Because you have kept My word of perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of the testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who live on the earth.
– Revelation 3:10, NASB

But the best word, the word I love to meditate on is the word of God’s grace.

Therefore they spent a long time there speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord, who was testifying to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be performed by their hands.
– Acts 14:3, NASB

And now I entrust you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
– Acts 20:32, NASB

And now I entrust you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
– Acts 20:32, NASB

It is that very grace that closes out the final word in our beloved Bibles.

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
– Revelation 22:21, NIV-1978

Blessings upon you, my friends.

Victoriously in Christ!

– damon
Twitter – @DamonJGray
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1. John 1:4
2. 2 Corinthians 11:23-27

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Damon J. Gray

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  1. Julie Habiger on May 29, 2023 at 9:24 AM

    Beautiful reflection on the word and the Word!

    And reminds of John’s closing words in his gospel about Jesus Christ – that His life on earth was so full of miracles and works and wonders that there weren’t enough pages to contain them all. The beloved disciple was left speechless – at a loss for any more words – in relating the love and mercy our Savior had for us. So humbled every time I read that.

    • Damon J. Gray on May 30, 2023 at 6:54 AM

      Hello Julie!

      That’s a great connection that I didn’t make. Yes, all the ways scripture uses “word” and yet there are not enough words to truly tell the story.

      Great observation!

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